7 Tips For A Successful Black Friday

7 Tips For A Successful Black Friday

Make it successful not stressful!

Its that time of year again! Everyone's favorite shopping day and our bank accounts worse nightmare! Plan on going out on Black Friday? Here are some helpful tips to get you started!

1. Dress Warm!

This time of year the weather is super cold at night and there are going to be lines out of stores everywhere! So make sure you dress warm and pack extra layers such as gloves, hats, scarves, and even an extra jacket!

2. Plan Ahead!

Going shopping can sometimes be very difficult because of consumer traffic, however Black Friday anywhere there are going to be lines wrapped around the outside of the store. Making a list of stores that you absolutely want to go will help you with consumer traffic as well as keep you from buying unnecessary things!

3. Do Your Research!

Go online and look up what stores are advertising for. Know what you want before you go in. Make sure when you make the list and choose your stores you make a list of what you want/need from that particular store. This will save you time and make it easier when the stores are jam-packed! Be ahead of the game!

4. Bring Multiple Payment Options!

Often times people can run out of money which allows them to not be able to purchase things that they wanted to. People think they have more money on them or in their bank account than they actually do. Bring at least two methods of payment so that you can use the other if one fails you!

5. Set a Goal For What You Want To Spend!

Before you leave your house make sure you leave with a goal of how much money you want to spend; not just for the night, but in each store as well. This way you can try to spend within your budget and you do not have to worry about what your bank account will look like the next day.

6. Track Your Spending!

A very easy way for you to stay within your spending budget is to track what you spend in each store. This also goes back to setting a goal for what you want to spend. Make sure to go in with your specific budget and track what you spend within each store. If you over or under spend you can make adjustments where they are needed.

7. Have Fun and Be Safe!

This is the most important tip! For many families, Black Friday shopping is and can become a family tradition. Something to do with your kids or even your friends. There is nothing kids like to do more than spend money, so if the deals are good make it a family trip! Black Friday is also a day for a lot of people to get holiday shopping done and over with! So it can be fun beginning to pick out gifts for loved ones and get really good deals! Make sure to go with a group and not alone! Black Friday is a big traffic day and it can get very chaotic very quickly so be sure to keep your eyes open and stay together!

These tips will help you have a fun and very successful Black Friday! Although you cannot take all the chaos out of it, using these you can eliminate a good majority of the chaos. So stay organize, follow these tips, and have fun! Good luck and happy shopping!

Cover Image Credit: Simon Kemp

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What It's Like To Stay In Pittsburgh Over The Summer

What's there to do when our teachers are hibernating for three months?

It’s weird for me to think that some people don’t stay in Pittsburgh over the summer, if only because I haven’t gone home for any summer since I’ve been in college and I have no inclination to do so. There are plenty of reasons to stay: classes, research opportunities, jobs and internships, and some people find that they just don’t want to go home and find a reason to stay. Of course, even with all those incentives there are still some of you who will want to go home, wherever that may be, so hopefully I can clue you in on what it’s like over those three months.

To begin, Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. You get a taste of it in the fall, and a whiff in spring, but wow, with the flowers and the trees in bloom, places like Frick park, The Point, The Waterfront, and Mount Washington are completely transformed in the haze of green and other colors. The second thing I always notice, around the third week in, is how quiet Oakland becomes. Walking around campus, you’re lucky to run into 8 strangers over the course of your day, although there are always a handful of stragglers in Hillman or Cathy. It feels nice, in an odd way; the campus feels much more personal, much more accommodating to you. And then, with the lack of people and stress from school, you start to branch out from Oakland and see more of the city, which is where the real fun begins.

We all know we go to the University of Pittsburgh, but honestly it’d be more accurate to say we go to school in Oakland. Campus can feel pretty big during the school year, but Pittsburgh is a city of dozens of neighborhoods outside of the four or five that make up Pitt’s domain, and most of us stay orbiting around specific buildings that are hubs for our majors. I didn’t really start understanding the dynamic of larger Pittsburgh until summer after my freshman year when I started to see comedy shows on a regular basis downtown, and it completely opened my eyes to the opportunities we miss every day during the school year.

I’m not trying to judge anyone: you’re lucky to see me outside of Hillman, Cathy, or my apartment during the school year. But still, when I think about all the festivals, museum openings, theatre performances, comedy shows, art galleries, and independent classes that are offered around Pittsburgh, just to name a few of the options available in a city like Pittsburgh with vast public services and interesting people, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out. If you ever get a chance, I’d say stay here over a summer, even if only for a couple weeks. And even if that’s not in the cards, maybe check out some of the local stuff happening outside of Oakland; Pittsburgh can surprise you.

Cover Image Credit: Robpinion on Wikimedia Commons

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It's Time For Spring Cleaning, And I Plan To Clean Out My Closet And What's Cluttering My Mind

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart.

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and spring has sprung! Lubbock can’t seem to fully get behind the change in the weather, but I’ve decided to embrace the shift anyway. Despite temperature drops below freezing, I’m moving my outlook to warmer days. With a new season and a new perspective, it seems a good time to spring clean my life.

That’s right, my life. I’m embarking on an effort to spring clean everything. My pantry can use a serious clean out and I desperately need to sort through clothes, but I’d like to take the metamorphosis one step further this year. What else in my life is dragging and bogging me down?

The obvious physical stuff needs to go. In a world where the latest trend promises and swears to make you thinner, prettier, happier, healthier, it’s hard to stay focused on a minimalist lifestyle. That’s the new goal—living as minimally as I can. Am I going to downsize to only five items of clothing I can strategically mix and match? No. But I would like to actually know every single item that’s in my closet (something I admittedly 100% could not do right now).

And don’t even get me started on the beauty products...

I’m going to purge the physical items cluttering my life and my home and seek to live only for those things that make me happy.

I plan to do this emotionally too.

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart. Perhaps I’m taking the analogy too far, but how great would it feel? We focus on transformations in this season and all things new. I want to cut out commitments and relationships that do not bring me joy and do not make me a happier or better person.

I want to create more physical space and emotional time and effort to give back to those things in my life that are good for me. How much more energy would I have if the clutter in my apartment and the clutter in my mind weren’t draining me every step of the day?

I’m hoping I’m not alone in this, but I don’t think I am. How much better would we feel if we were living for and with only the few incredibly important things that mean the world, rather than struggling along burdened by the latest and trendiest fashion, product, or commitment? I’m convinced, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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